“Letters to the Most Repulsive Parents in Japan”






Amidst the political turmoil and economic recession Japan has found itself in the recent years, how poor parenting takes a toll on the lives of the most vulnerable is often the last thing on people’s minds. The most recent (2012) Ministry of Health and Labor’s reports showed that 16.3%, roughly 1 in 6 children in Japan live […]




The Amazing Japanese Wife: Part 1






Japan Subculture Research Center is proud to present a series of short stories, by our resident book reviewer and social commentator, Kaori Shoji, on the often tragically mismatched marriages of foreign men and Japanese women. If you see echoes of someone you know or yourself in this story, be rest assured that you’re a cliche—but […]




Are you a white guy? Now Write Your Own Bad Expat Novel Set In Japan! Here’s how






On the plane, as I scratched my hipster beard, I wondered: Do Japanese people shave a lot? Would my tattoo that read 肉食 (Meet People) charm the natives or alienate them? I regretted leaving my copy of JAPAN: CULTURE SHOCK behind but then again, I could figure it all out on my own. My future girlfriend would teach me, just as she would teach me the intricacies of their ancient Altaic language and perhaps the language of love.







Who Matters? Sexual Assault and Inadequate Police Response in Japan






They will never catch the man. But that police report mattered. Women matter. Their safety matters. Procedure matters. Their stories matter. Their dignity matters. Though you would not have known it to be sitting in that police station.







May the Force Be With You (May 4th) Zen Wisdom From Star Wars! The Dao of Jedi






May 4th has become an iconic day for Star Wars fans across the universe.  “May The 4th Be With You” becomes “May The Force Be With You” quite nicely.  (If you already knew this, stifle that groan young Jedi, some of us didn’t know). And on this day, what better time to introduce one of […]




The 100 Hour Japanese Work-Week and One Woman Who Escaped






On the other hand, most Japanese – white collar or not, are well aware that clocking in over 100 hours of overtime a month is quite common, and so is not getting paid for that time. Dentsu was raided by Labor ministry investigators earlier this month, and they raked up evidence to show that workers were actually falsifying their overtime records to avoid having to bill the company and cause trouble.







AKB48: A Microcosm Of Dark Corporate Japan. Sexual exploitation of child labor is sooo cute. (Book review)






Shohei Sakakura has linked Black Companies with the nation’s most famous and lucrative girl group AKB 48. “AKB48 and the Black Companies,” and his indictments make Walmart look like a towering monument to worker’s rights. Yasushi Akimoto was a Zegen with a vision – having never been popular in high school himself, he recognized the deep sexual frustration and vast need for sexual fantasies festering in the educated and dateless Japanese male.







Confessions of A Yakuza Bodyguard/芸能界のドンの用心棒の告白






It may come across as an excuse but the entertainment industry will never see the end to altercations with the local yakuza regarding profit. When I was requested to be the bodyguard, I initially thought that I would serve as the fixer for yakuza issues. In actuality, Suoh asked me to work for him after the shootings targeting him, which later turned out to be staged by nobody but Suoh himself. I did not for a second imagine that I would be asked to “destroy” or “kill” an actress when I first took the job.







Hey, Baby? You’re fired & don’t come back. Maternity Harassment (MATAHARA) and The Working Woman in Japan






According to Japanese Trade Union Confederation, matahara is an abbreviation of “maternity harassment.” The word refers to mental or physical harassment that some workingwomen go through when they announce to their colleagues that they’re pregnant or after they come back to the office from maternity leave. Some women come back to find themselves demoted or receiving a pay cut. In the worst-case scenario, some are even pressured to quit or fired. Harassment comes not only from men in the office but other women as well—sometimes out of irritation that their workload will increase, sometimes out of a kind of jealousy.







How did Japan’s Whalers Of The Past Feel About Their Job & The Whales They Killed?






Despite the popular opinion that Japan’s dedicated pro-whaling community comes from a background of legendary, barbaric whalers who slaughtered whales without mercy, some reports show that pre-harpoon whalers were actually very considerate for the feelings of these giant creatures. Sociologist Hiroyuki Watanabe’s book titled Japan’s Whaling, takes a broad look at the entirety of the […]